(Updates to midday trading)
* Biotechs lead S&P above milestone 2,000
* Hope for European stimulus lifts financials
* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 vaulted above 2,000 for the first time on Monday, with financials and biotechnology stocks lifting the benchmark index to a new record as investors bet on equities as a preferred asset over bonds.
The significance of the milestone was more psychological than fundamental, and it represents the cumulation of a six-year rally that has boosted retirement accounts for Americans from Wall Street to Main Street, though the gains have largely benefited wealthier Americans. On a total-return basis the S&P 500 has more than tripled from its 2009 low hit during the financial crisis. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)